Berrien County Prosecutor explains how police will enforce stay-at-home order
BERRIEN COUNTY, Mich.— Local law enforcement in Berrien County has been given guidance from the Attorney General’s Office regarding Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s “Stay Home, Stay Safe” executive order, the Berrien County Prosecutor’s Office said Friday.
The “Stay Home, Stay Safe” executive order asks that all Michigan businesses and operations temporarily suspend in-person operations that are not necessary to sustain or protect life.
The order also asks Michigan residents to stay at home unless they’re engaging in an essential activity.
According to the prosecutor’s office, police in Berrien County have been instructed to use warnings to achieve compliance with the executive order in the first instance.
Citations under MCL 33.10, a 90-day/ $500 misdemeanor could be issued for non-compliance for technical violations when warnings are ignored, the prosecutor’s office said.
If the situation appears to have “clear public health consequences,” an order by law enforcement to cease and desist that is ignored could result in an arrest for resisting/ obstruction, a felony level charge.
Berrien County Prosecutor Michael Sepic said his office is already inspecting local businesses and issuing warnings.
The prosecutor’s office shared the following, non-comprehensive list to provide examples of what is meant by businesses “necessary to sustain and preserve life:”
- Health care and public health
- Law enforcement, public safety, and first responders
- Food and agriculture
- Water and wastewater
- Transportation and logistics
- Public works
- Communications and information technology, including news media
- Other community-based government operations and essential functions
- Critical manufacturing
- Hazardous materials
- Financial services
- Chemical supply chains and safety
- Defense industrial base
The prosecutor’s office also shared the following, non-comprehensive list to provide examples of what is meant by businesses that can operate using a minimum number of workers and are complying with social distance requirements:
- Oil change shop
- Logging truck
- Fixing farm machinery
- Deliveries - if permissible activity
- Medical marijuana store
- Construction and repair of roads
- Craft store supplying mask material
Additionally, the prosecutor’s office shared the following, non-comprehensive list to provide examples of what is meant by businesses that cannot open to the public under the current “Stay Home” order:
- Residential construction
- Door to door sales
- Golf courses
- Landscaping Nursery
- Pet store (exclusively dealing with pets)
Some of the businesses that cannot be open to the public may still be able to conduct minimum business operations or facilitate the ability of other workers to work remotely.
Questions regarding the executive order should be called in to local law enforcement agencies using their non-emergency numbers.
For more information about the “Stay Home, Stay Safe” executive order, visit the state’s website.